An empirical study of resilient psychosocial functioning amongst a population of Western Australia aboriginal young people 12-17 years

Katrina Hopkins

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    Abstract

    [Truncated abstract] Resilience is widely accepted as a dynamic and contextually embedded process of positive human development despite exposure to significant adversity. A voluminous literature exists, predominantly from UK or USA general populations, with emerging evidence from Indigenous samples in Canada and elsewhere suggesting that Indigenous peoples’ experiences of risk may be quantitatively and qualitatively different (Williams, Mohammed, Leavell, & Collins, 2010). Better understanding the protective processes enabling some but not other individuals to navigate these obstacles may lead to improved targeting of strategies that ultimately impact pervasive racial/ethnic health disparities. Yet, despite persistent health and socioeconomic disparities between Australian Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal populations and calls for research illuminating individual, family, neighborhood and cultural processes supporting resilient functioning, there has been scant empirical attention to this.

    The Western Australian Aboriginal Child Health Survey (2000-2002), a population representative survey of Aboriginal children (0-17 years) and their families, provides an unusual opportunity to apply a resilience paradigm to understand why it is, in contexts of overwhelming adversity, that some youth but not others are able to transcend the odds of maladjustment. The biopsychosocial model of cumulative vulnerability and minority health (Gallo & Matthews, 2003; Myers, 2009) guides the empirical analysis. Multiple logistic regression modeling was used to examine the effects of individual, family, peer, cultural and neighborhood factors on resilience separately for youth in high and low risk family contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2013

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